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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Al Bismonte

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By Maureen Chodaba Upon entering the Marco Island home of Al Bismonte, you are greeted by a garden ornament with the message “All Things Grow With Love.” That is a theme that lives and flourishes in the heart of this man of many talents. This “retired” pediatrician from Waukegan, Illinois enjoys a home that is filled with more than one hundred orchid plants. “They are not my hobby, they are my therapy,” says Bismonte with a smile. Surrounded by their beauty, Bismonte explained his secret in caring for these thriving plants. “Sometimes people think an orchid has died, but it ... Read More »

Can Orlando Happen Here?

Lt. Jay Mulholland speaks to a packed crowd on June 16. Photos by Roger Lalonde

By Roger LaLonde  Can Orlando happen here? Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk is pondering that question like so many law enforcement agencies across the country. The question to him, “Does the FBI alert the Sheriff’s Office on potential terrorists or terrorist activity?” “No” was the sobering response. Rambosk spoke at the East Naples Civic Association luncheon on June 16. It was five days after the horrific shooting and killing of 49 people at The Pulse in Orlando in the early hours of June 12. Rambosk followed by saying that the county has forged a relationship with the FBI and does ... Read More »

Mackle Park – A New Beginning

The water spray park at Mackle Park.

By Maureen Chodaba  Mackle Park, located at 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island has been a hub of community activity for many years. This oasis of recreation has served Marco Island’s residents and visitors of all ages with its outstanding programs and facilities. Whether attending a “Be Fit Over 50” class, taking a stroll around the lake, or attending Camp Mackle, it has been one of the best places to be for fun on the island. Soon Mackle Park will be going through some changes. And these changes appear to be good ones for this community. August 5, 2016 will bring ... Read More »

Meals of Hope – Feeding Those in Need

Meals of Hope volunteers (from left): Dianna Dohm, Donna Niemczyk, Bill Morris and Catalina Vallejo with Erik Condee (seated). Photos by Maureen Chodaba

By Maureen Chodaba  The Snook Inn was the place to be for happy hour on June 13 as 91 people enjoyed great food, fellowship with friends and the musical sounds of Rosetta Stone. But this was not just any happy hour. This was a Happy Hour for Hope supporting Meals of Hope (MOH), a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity supporting the needy families of Collier County. Did you know that Collier County has the largest concentration of migrant workers in the eastern United States? The county is also unique in that it lacks the manufacturing resources of other larger cities. Thus, local ... Read More »

Marine Habitat Project Growing

David Wolff, Ocean Habitats, and one of the standard-sized artificial 
dock habitats he invented. Photo by Don Manley

By Don Manley A pilot project designed to revitalize the cloudy waters of Marco Island’s canals to restore their function as sustainable marine habitats teaming with a diverse array of fish, shellfish and other aquatic life, has caught on with residents. At the request of their owners, six of the artificial dock habitats were installed in March behind six homes that abut a canal that runs between Elm and Perrine Courts. Since then, 19 more have been deployed, all of them purchased by the city for the pilot project at a cost of $10,000, which includes installation, as well as ... Read More »

They Are Here to Kill Us!

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Beyond the Coast By Tarik N. Ayasun Terror has once again arrived in America. This time it is in our home state of Florida. Forty nine Americans killed and many more injured in Orlando. Only three hours driving time from Marco Island. The murderer Islamist terrorist was born and raised in this country. He grew up and lived amongst us. He has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents. Ladies and gentlemen, time has come to recognize that we are in danger and our government is neglecting us. They do ... Read More »

Technology and Nature Keep Rookery Bay’s Marine Life Healthy & Happy

Photo by Dave Graff
Flounder often cover themselves with sand, leaving only their eyes exposed.

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson June is National Aquarium Month and some exciting things are happening in the watery world at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Located between Naples and Marco Island, the 16,500 square-foot center features a two-story exhibit hall and was developed to serve as an interactive gateway into the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The center’s exhibits, nature store, art gallery and more provide a comfortable environment for kids of all ages to learn about the estuary. The center is also responsible for keeping many species of fish and other marine life comfortable in its seven aquarium ... Read More »

A Great Migration in the Water

Submitted Photo
Leatherback sea turtles can reach 6 feet in length, weigh up to 2,000 pounds and dive more than 4,000 feet below the surface.

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Last month I wrote about one of the great land migrations that takes place on our planet. It wasn’t so much about the long distance of the pattern, but more about the sheer number of animals that participate in this annual trek across Africa’s Serengeti Plain. There are constant comings and goings throughout the year on land and in the air, but what about the sea? Yes, there are tremendous numbers of marine creatures that follow patterns as well. Since we are in turtle nesting season here in our area I thought it might be ... Read More »

Old Glory Flies Again Over Goodland Post Office New postal clerk gets it done

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By Barry Gwinn Judith Pritchard was Goodland’s last postmaster. She was popular here and served faithfully for eight years until her retirement on July 31, 2012. Due to budget deficits, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has since cut back on personnel and closed some offices. Goodland was spared, but instead of a postmaster, a series of postal clerks ran our post office. They were Shannon Mitchell, Marie Thompson, Rhonda Joyce, and our current clerk, Asiel Rodriguez. A sprinkling of substitutes, filled in at times. At some point, the American Flag was taken down, likely for a coming storm. Due to ... Read More »

Floral Design, Worms and Summer Camp

From left: teacher Patti Thorsen, Sandra Nava and Marianne Foley. Sandra received a campership scholarship.

Submitted “Young plants and minds growing together” sums up the Junior Gardener’s after-school program under the leadership of the Calusa Garden Club. Tommie Barfield Elementary School: Third, fourth and fifth grade students had fun creating their own floral design using flowers from the Marco Island’s Farmer’s Market. These masterpieces were recently displayed at the Calusa Garden Club’s annual flower show in March. Worms are also a top favorite for the young students – the red wriggler kind. Each year the students prepare a home for the worms in a plastic tote box using shredded newspapers, wet peat moss, some vegetable ... Read More »

Jeans for Troops

Submitted Photo
MICMS participants in the “Jeans for Troops” fundraiser.

Submitted Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) teachers and administrators participated in the “Jeans for Troops” program in an effort to raise money for our country’s veterans as we celebrated Memorial Day. This tied in with the school’s “Salute to Veterans and Active Military Personnel” band concert, which was recently held on campus to an overflow crowd of more than 400 people. The school hopes to repeat their participation in the “Jeans for Troops” program for Veteran’s Day in the fall. Read More »

An Investment in Love and Joy

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan  harborgoldsmith@comcast.net The other day a woman entered my establishment and asked me if I replace batteries in watches, which I do. While installing her new battery, she complimented me on the many wonderful things in my showcases. She said how she loved jewelry but her money conscious husband refused to buy her any nice quality jewelry (they were married over forty years!). He was always claiming diamonds and jewelry were a bad investment. A sense of sadness came over me for this nice woman. I noticed all she was wearing was a simple gold wedding band ... Read More »

Governor Having Love Affair with Goodland? It sure looks that way after second visit in two months

Photos by Barry Gwinn
Patty and Kelly Kirk

By Barry Gwinn On March 4, 2016, Governor Rick Scott paid a visit to Marco Island Academy (MIA). He was there at the invitation of founder and board chairman, Jane Watt, to confer awards on four of the school’s outstanding educators and to see for himself why this school was doing so well. It was about noon when he concluded his visit to MIA. Before leaving, he asked directions and distance to Goodland. The Governor had made the acquaintance of Patti Kirk eight years before, when both worked out at the same Naples fitness center. He had enjoyed meals at ... Read More »

Art at the Marco Library

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Submitted  The Marco Island Public Library and the Marco Island Center for the Arts work cooperatively to provide monthly art shows at the Marco Island Library on Heathwood Drive. The months of June, July and August will feature the photographs of Marco Island artist Joseph Parisi. For more than 30 years, Joe has been a practicing veterinarian, which has fostered a passion for photographing Southwestern Florida’s unique wildlife. His other interests include scuba diving and travel, which are reflected in original underwater photography, street portraiture and landscape. He incorporates both color and black and white in his prints. He has ... Read More »

More Than a Number

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com A few years ago I was driving on the Island when I noticed a couple standing on the sidewalk waiting for the traffic light. The man wore the rounded spine of at least eight decades on Earth; his right hand clutched the handle of a cane, punched to the pavement for support. The woman was white-haired, and equally bent, with tubes in her nose that extended to an oxygen tank she pulled wagon-style behind her. But more than their postures and their accessories, I noticed that the fingers of their free hands were ... Read More »

Diagnosis by a Specialist

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Dimensions of Dementia Shirley Woolaway Perhaps you’re concerned about a family member or friend’s memory loss, perhaps your own. One way to find out whether it is memory loss or normal aging is to seek out a physician. A family doctor or internist could be your starting place and might use a brief test for memory. But you may be better served with a specialist. For instance, with heart issues you would probably seek out a cardiologist, if cancer, an oncologist. So, if the brain may be an issue, the Alzheimer Association and other experts recommend seeing a neurologist who ... Read More »

Rotary Supports Project Graduation

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Submitted At the Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club meeting on May 26th, President Lynne Minozzi presented Mr. Olbrich of the Greater Naples YMCA with a check for $1,500 to support Project Graduation, a YMCA initiative. On June 3rd, the YMCA celebrated the 31st anniversary of Project Graduation, one of the nation’s longest running drug and alcohol-free celebrations. “The Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club is proud to sponsor a worthwhile project like Project Graduation,” said Lynne Minozzi. “The program makes such a difference in the future of our graduating seniors by giving them a place to have fun, celebrate and be ... Read More »

The Perfect Summer Mangrove Snapper Dinner

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Nothing beats a day out fishing with the family like a good old dinner, especially dining on your own catch. Everyone has spent the entire day out in the summer sun, bonding over an age-old tradition, and now you’re all settled back at home and ready for a family meal around the table. I’m telling you – there’s nothing better. Everyone can be a chef for the family with the right ingredients and recipe, but not everyone has a recipe in mind for the fish found around Southwest Florida. That doesn’t mean you can’t make ... Read More »

A Night of Jazz on Marco

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Submitted  Renowned trumpet player Bob Zottola returns to the Marco Island Center for the Arts on June 15. Zottola performed to a sellout crowd early this year, and rightfully so. He has performed with the Maynard Ferguson and Duke Ellington bands and has accompanied such stars as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and Mel Tormé. Hyla Crane, the Center’s executive director, says Zottola is one of the most exciting entertainers the Center has had. According to Crane, “Everyone will love this show.” Zottola will be performing with his group, Jazz Sympatico. As the name implies, these jazz musicians involve ... Read More »

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away
By David Bell
New American Library –
June 21, 2016 - 432 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
4.0/5.0 stars

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Bell is an accomplished storyteller who is equally adept at both character development and plot advancement. I first read his “Someone I Used To Know” last year and was riveted by the nuances of his characters’ personalities. The same is true of “Since She Went Away.” I was invested in these characters by the end of chapter one and put the book down only once. This is basically the story of RN Jenna Barton, a single mom, and her teenaged son Jared, detailing how their quiet lives in tiny Hawks Mill, Kentucky were up heaved by ... Read More »